Kobus Eloff: Jack-of-all-trades achieves success

Twenty years ago, when the Academy of Science of South Africa was established, Jacobus (Kobus) Nicolaas Eloff, then already in his mid-fifties, was invited, as Director of the National Botanical Gardens, to become a founding member of the Academy. However, once his CV had been reviewed, Eloff’s founding membership was declined on the grounds that…

Bees can make farming better

Dr Ruan Veldtman is an ecological entomologist, which means that he has a keen interest in the positive and negative role of insects in the environment. On the negative side, this researcher of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and Stellenbosch University is involved in efforts to eradicate invasive wasp species from urban areas.…

Meet Sinikiwe Simakani

Sinikiwe Simakani, a Masters student at Stellenbosch University, is passionate about closing the gap between science and the public. She is currently working on a projected funded by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and keen to design effective science communication methods to share research about an invasive wasp. Sinikiwe defines ‘science communication’ as…

Fast, cheap calories may make city birds fat and sick

by Phoebe Barnard via The Conversation Change. It can creep up on us so gently that we hardly even notice it. Yet the pace of environmental change in the world’s cities and landscapes, against the backdrop of the past millennium, is quite dizzying. This past century has seen rampant growth in urbanisation, agriculture, mines, factories,…

West Coast’s Heaviside’s dolphins are all family

The sight of an albino Heaviside’s dolphin off Hondeklipbaai during one of her sampling trips along the West Coast is one that she will always treasure.So says conservation geneticist and Capetonian Dr Keshni Gopal, who completed the first in-depth genetic study about this endemic South African dolphin species. “I’ve always had a great passion for…

The splash of dignity

In episode 12 of The Science Inside, we looked at what it takes to bring water and sanitation services to the people of South Africa. One can only patch up the pipes so many times, and safety concerns often prevents water getting to those who need it most.